Looks like a great project. As far as learning software there is nothing like getting some basic knowledge then jumping in and finding tutorials when you get stuck.
I am planning on creating a map focusing Bulayisi, one of the major civilizations from my first map. Here's a rough outline of where it is from my first map, and roughly the shape of the map.
However, I would like to try a very different style. I remember seeing a bunch of maps in my Chinese History class that I thought looked very interesting. Here are a couple of examples of the style of map I would like to attempt.
I feel like this will be a difficult project, as I am very new to GIMP. My first map was made following a guide, and I feel like this one will be mostly independent of guides. I would also like to have the landmass look distorted as in these maps, as well as labeling several settlements, as these maps show. I feel like I should also develop a script to use. I like the idea of the names of settlements being written in vertical columns on the map.
Hopefully I'll have figured some things out and post some progress within the next couple of days.
Dont try to make a "perfect" map and keep experimenting. YOu can always go back and revise your maps with teh new found skills on teh process.
Well, here's the first step. I designed a shape for the sea, made six variations (just flips and rotations), then brushed over the "Sea" layer. I think it looks nice! I'm working on the shape of the landmass. I'm trying to make it look distorted, but still close enough to the true geographic shape.
Let me know what you think!
Very nice pattern!